Anfield is no stranger of spectacular matches and Liverpool has experienced a 3 – 0 comeback when they won their last UEFA Champions League trophy, however, the match against Barcelona is considered by most to be the one that tops them all. And while this was just the semi-final, if we take into consideration that they eliminated the favorite for the title, we could already start seeing Henderson lifting the trophy above his head. We used ‘could’ because their opponents for the final managed an equally impressive ‘miracle’ by defeating Ajax and we have an outstanding final on our hands.
You’ll Never Walk Alone to Open the Night
As early as two hours ahead of the game, fans started to slowly fill Anfield and as soon as all the 55,212 fans took their seats, a roaring “You’ll never walk alone” started to fill the hearts of each and every one of the fans. And with such a support that went on relentlessly throughout the match, the Reds managed to produce a real miracle by eliminating Barcelona after trailing 3 – 0 from the first leg. Sure, we all remember that crazy final in Istanbul that was also reenacted earlier this year. However, this match has something even more special about it. It’s also a record-setting performance because Liverpool became the first team since 1986 when it was still called European Champions Cup, that a team manages to recover from a three-goal first-leg deficit.
Origi Opened and Closed the Show while Wijnaldum Brilliantly did the Rest
The match started perfectly for the Reds with Divock Origi opening the score in the seventh minute after a very good offensive move. Then Barcelona started to suffer from the “Liverpool effect” in the first leg. Meaning that they created some pretty good scoring opportunities but failed to put the back in the net. The second half ended 1 – 0 and all the Liverpool fans in the stands were still firmly believing a miracle can be accomplished.
However, it wasn’t possible without a worrying event happening first. Right after the second half began, in the 46th minute, Andrew Robertson picked up an injury and had to make room for Georginio Wijnaldum. After a not so convincing first leg in which many supporters questioned Klopp’s decision of sending Wijnaldum in between Salah and Mane, the moment they saw the number 5 appearing on the substitution board wasn’t exactly pleasant. However, nobody could have imagined what was about to happen. The same player that seemed out of place in the first leg and slowed down the attack of Liverpool, scored two goals in a bit over 2 minutes to make it even for Liverpool. This time, nobody is ever going to question Jurgen Klopp’s decision of sending in the 28 year-old Dutch player on the field. That comes to show, once again, that substitutions are mostly a gamble. You sometimes get it right and sometimes things don’t really go your way. However, if you want to make sure you’re always having a fair chance gambling, check out the True Blue casino review here.
A Dazzled and Confused Barcelona
It was already obvious that Barcelona didn’t quite understand what was happening and when did they took three goals. Facing the threat of extra time with a very offensive Liverpool was a grim enough thought, however, what happened truly showed that Messi and his teammates were really blown off their feet by the remarkable performance of the Reds. In the 79th minute, Liverpool got a corner on the right side of the pitch. And just as Trent Alexander-Arnold was ready to give up on executing the corner kick, he noticed that all Barcelona players were with their backs towards the goal and Origi was wide open. So he hurried up and put the ball at Origi’s feet to make it 4 – 0 and blast away the doubts of extra time and possible penalty kicks.
Revenge for Messi’s Trick?
While the entire Barcelona team rushed to the referee trying to convince him the corner wasn’t correctly executed, their efforts were all in vain. And there weren’t few Liverpool supporters that feel this was some sort of making the balance straight after Messi pushed the ball forward several meters on the pitch before scoring from that glorious free kick. No matter if that’s the case or not, we should congratulate Trent for being so aware in such a high-pressure game. Also, there’s a lesson to be learned by Barcelona’s defenders that when Liverpool is on a 3 – 0 comeback, you never turn your back towards your own goal at a corner kick.
A ‘Premier League’ Final
It’s true that Tottenham performed a miracle of their own after scoring in the very last second of the game to go through to the final in front of a very disappointed Ajax team. And although it is a special occasion for English football to give both the finalists of the Champions League and the Europa League as well, things seem pretty straightforward for Liverpool. Both clashes in the Premier League were won by the Reds with 2 – 1 and that should be a good indicator for what will happen in the final.